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Redefining Success: The 'Company of One' Mindset

business model design strategy Feb 04, 2024

Starting a business can be an exciting and fulfilling experience, but it can also be intimidating and overwhelming. The good news? Millions of people around the world are building businesses in new ways and on their own terms.


The problem with "Business as Usual"

Traditional business models that prioritise growth and attracting investors over profitability and stability may not be the best fit for every entrepreneur.

This way of working focuses on rapid expansion, which can be expensive, time-consuming and doesn't guarantee sustainable success.

Working for yourself can be stressful and overwhelming at the start. Now add the pressure to constantly be "on" and hustling, and the risk of failure if the business doesn't grow quickly enough.

Less than awesome when it comes to work/life design. With reports of 80% of small business owners citing poor mental health as a major problem, it's important to consider the optimum 'work/life' design early in the business building process.

 Enter...the "Company of One" mindset.


The "Company of One" Mindset

Introduced in the book "Company of One" by Paul Jarvis, offers an alternative philosophy of business success.


It values staying small and independent and focuses on building a sustainable and fulfilling business that serves the needs of the founder.

A reclamation of 'lifestyle business,' the 'Company of One' mindset recognises that a successful business is one that is sustainable and gives the Founder a lifestyle that is fulfilling without sacrificing well-being or personal relationships.


The Benefits of Being a Company of One

Embracing the Company of One mindset can be a liberating experience for those who are tired of old ways of working.

But there are more benefits than simply less stress and pressure. For example:

Adaptability: With a lean operation, a Company of One can adapt to changing market conditions or shifts in the industry more rapidly. This nimbleness gives you a significant competitive edge, especially in fast-paced industries and AI arms race.


Financial Flexibility: Operating as a Company of One often comes with lower overhead costs because you're not maintaining a large office space or paying salaries for a large team. This allows you to invest more in the growth of your business, experiment with new ideas, or offer more competitive pricing to your customers.

In 'Company of One,' Paul shares the story of a friend who, once they have made enough money for a year, spends the rest of their time rock climbing and surfing down the coast. Sounds ideal, right?


Design a (working) Life You Love: As a Company of One you define your own work-life balance. Businesses as usual brings with it a lot of extra obligations.

However, as a Company of One, you have the freedom to set your own hours, work from locations that inspire you, and arrange your work around your life rather than the other way around.

This increased control over your work schedule can lead to higher job satisfaction and better quality of life.


How to Build Your Own Company of One

So, how do you embrace the Company of One mindset? Here are a few key things to keep in mind:


Prioritise productivity and efficiency

As a Company of One, it's important to make the most of your time and resources by focusing on tasks that are high-impact and high-value.

This means streamlining and optimising your workflows, and finding ways to do more with less.


Optimise for innovation and creativity

Just because you're a Company of One doesn't mean you have to do everything yourself. Look for ways to collaborate with others and bring in new ideas and perspectives.

This can help you stay fresh and engaged, and can lead to new opportunities and growth.


Focus on sustainability

Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint. It's important to find ways to balance short-term profitability with long-term viability.

This means considering factors like environmental impact, social responsibility, and employee well-being (if applicable), and building resilience into your business so that it can weather economic downturns and other challenges.


Trust your gut

As a Company of One, you have the unique ability to create a business that serves your needs and aligns with your values.

Don't let the criticism of others discourage you – trust in your own vision and stay focused on your goals.

You'll be surprised at what you can achieve when you stay true to your values and priorities.


Resources for Further Exploration

 Want to go further? Check out these resources that will keep your inspiration tank full.

Listen - The Company of One podcast, hosted by Paul Jarvis

Listen in to interviews with entrepreneurs who have embraced the Company of One philosophy and are building businesses on their own terms.


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